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Recombinant DNA

By Justina K. Carlson and Joshua I. Goldhaber

An overflow crowd including several professors from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) attended a meeting yesterday at the National Insitutes of Health (NIH) headquarters to consider relaxing guidelines for recombinant DNA research.

Donald S. Frederickson, director of NIH, convened the open meeting of the Director's Advisory Committee in Bethesda, Md., in compliance with NIH guildelines requiring periodic reviews of the latest findings on the hazards of DNA research, a spokesman for NIH said yesterday.

Bernard D. Davis '36, Lehman Professor of Bacterial Physiology at the Medical School, said yesterday the meeting provided ample opportunity for both opponents and proponents of DNA research to make "extensive contributions."

Davis said much of the evidence presented at the meeting indicated that DNA research is much less dangerous than had been previously assumed.

Davis said even Jonathan King, associate professor of Biology at MIT, and an opponent of DNA research, admitted there is little danger of DNA research causing an epidemic.

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